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'Who would do such a dastardly thing?': Bronze memorial ripped from Spanish-American War veteran's grave in Akron

Theodore Westwood Miller was killed in the Spanish-American War charging up San Juan Hill alongside Theodore Roosevelt.

AKRON, Ohio — He rests peacefully in Akron's Glendale Cemetery. Here lies Theodore Westwood Miller, "A Rough Rider."

"This man was a fortunate son, but he felt compelled to serve his country," says Lewis Snodgrass, trustee for the Cuyahoga Falls Historical Society. 

"Thede," as he was called by many, volunteered to serve in the Spanish-American War with friend David Goodrich, son of rubber giant B.F. Goodrich. "He was just delighted to be selected by Theodore Roosevelt to be one of his Rough Riders," Snodgrass adds.

Thede Miller, son of wealthy Akron industrialist Lewis Miller, was a student at Yale and was brother-in-law to Thomas Edison. He volunteered to fight in the Spanish-American War, seeing combat in Cuba where he took part in Roosevelt's legendary charge up San Juan Hill. 

"I guess he got about halfway up the hill until he got shot, unfortunately," says Snodgrass. A bullet pierced Miller's spine, leaving him paralyzed. He succumbed to his wounds a few days later. 

"Thede" was laid to rest in Akron's Glendale Cemetery, his marker adorned with the bronze emblem of his regiment, The First Volunteer Calvary, a.k.a., the Rough Riders. 

On a recent visit to Miller's grave, Snodgrass made a shocking discovery. "The beautiful bronze ornamentation that was anchored to the gravestone was gone. I thought to myself, 'who would do such a dastardly thing?'"

Police have been notified, but Snodgrass has a plea. "I want to give the person who took this a chance to bring it back. Just bring it back. No questions asked," he says. 

And return the plaque to its place of honor with Rough Rider Theodore Miller. 

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